Lately I’ve been seeing a psychologist to open back up and hopefully resolve some of the shenanigans I never faced from my past.
I’m peeling back layers I never planned to peel back.
I’m talking about why I can’t form or maintain female friendships easily. Why I don’t trust people. Why I panic sometimes and shut down in parts of my relationship. Why I go cold, cut off friends and move countries frequently.
We’re doing EMDR to try and resolve some old crap.
Kim Anami told me to when I met her in Mexico. Kim changed my life a few years ago. So I’m listening.
I used to think that seeing a psychologist was for people with serious issues. And weirdos.
I thought that talking about your feelings would make you more pessimistic and depressed.
I thought psychology would make you into one of those people that complain and dwell and whinge. I was already pessimistic enough for most of my life, I didn’t want to get worse.
So I blocked it all out and got on with life.
This work I’ve been doing over the past couple of months is opening doors in my psyche that probably wanted to keep themselves shut.
Usually, BGC tells me, I giggle in my sleep.
Lately there’s no giggling. I’m having nightmares about stupid things.
One nightmare involved me asking a lady at the park if I could walk her boxer puppy for her one day. She said no, scoffed at me and walked off. It was tough.
Lately I’m less easily able to see the positive perspective of life.
My brain is on hyperalert for shit-going-wrong.
Neville is catastrophising and hyperbolising a lot.
I’m taking things personally that aren’t personal at all.
It feels like I’m slipping back into old ways.
But when I step outside of Neville’s drama,
I think I’m actually growing, in a messy, raw way.
It feels hard. But also fascinating.
If you didn’t clean your house for 30 years, the initial cleaning process would not feel good.
The ultimate goal is to get rid of old crap that’s been in the shadows too long.
To clean up, you first need to shine a light on the shadowy bits you don’t want to look at.
Now, I’m stoked to be seeing a psychologist. I know I’m privileged to be able to. I openly tell people.
I want people to know it’s normal, and healthy, and helpful.
And I’m proud that I’ve reached a place where I can do it. It takes courage to open up old boxes and deal with whatever comes out.
I was helping my Dad quote a job to repaint an old flat the other day.
The last people who’d re-painted it had painted over the old wallpaper, over multiple layers of chipped paint and holes in the plasterboard.
The walls were white, but close up they were a total shambles.
When you want to properly clean up an old house, you’ve got to prepare for the new paint.
The painting is the easy bit. The work is in the preparation.
Sand it all back.
Remove the crappy old wallpaper.
Plaster up the holes. Sand it back again.
When you’re in the sanding back/ peeling off phase, everything is a fucking mess.
That’s a bit how I feel right now.
But also strong. Lighter already.
Even when I cry most days over shit that shouldn’t matter.
Not dealing with trauma and pain from your past is akin to painting over old, patchy wallpaper and layers of crappy paint.
You might feel more in control not addressing the old layers.
But not far beneath the surface is a mess.
Face your old 80s wallpaper.
Sand back the layers.
Give your emotional life a spring clean.
I’m pretty sure it’s really bloody worth it.
I’ll let you know once the first coat goes on.
Ps – It can be tough finding a good psychologist who you click with. I recommend seeking out a psychologist who is based in mindfulness. There is some preliminary research that found that patients who see therapists who practice mindfulness get better faster and stay better longer.
A mindfulness based psychologist I refer all my clients to is Fiona Santangelo at 2Think. She is based in Sydney, Australia, and does Skype consults.